UV light water disinfection devices have been commercially available for many years but most suffer from drawbacks arising from their basic design. Most designs require the UV lamps to be immersed in the water being treated which, with time, leads to the formation of a bio-film on their surface. This bio-film blocks off much of the emitted UV light leading to frequent cleaning and with it disruption of the water supply.
Professor Bassam Younis and his research team have developed a UV system that eliminates many of the problems inherent in the conventional designs. In their novel system, the water flows in a tube made of quartz (a material which lets through light in the UV-C band) with the UV lamps located outside it. In this way, the flowing water is exposed to the UV light without the lamps coming in contact with it. No contact = no bio-film. Prof. Younis’ ambition is to make this system available for free to under-served communities with no access to safe drinking water. With philanthropic support, systems are currently being installed at refugee households in Lebanon that rely for their drinking water on unmonitored groundwater wells in close proximity to numerous sources of pollution.